The 2013 NFL free-agent signing period begins on Tuesday, and while the Denver Broncos have emphatically denied interest in trading for New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, the team is currently pursuing several free agents.
According to the Denver Post's Mike Klis, the Broncos have a "menu of 12 to 15" free agents that they feel could be a fit—at the right price. Three of those players are now known.
1. Defensive End Dwight Freeney
The Broncos are currently in a contractual stalemate with Elvis Dumervil, who has a $12 million 2013 salary that will become guaranteed if he is still on the roster on Saturday. Not wanting to pay that much for his services, the Broncos are currently seeking a possible replacement, according to ProFootballTalk.com.
The top candidate to replace Dumervil is one of quarterback Peyton Manning's former teammates, Dwight Freeney. On Saturday evening, Tennessee Titans reporter Terry McCormick tweeted that Denver has shown "early interest" in Freeney.
Prior to McCormick's tweet, the Denver Post ran a story on Denver's interest in Freeney, who is clearly being targeted by the Broncos. Freeney is 32 (four years older than Dumervil) and only recorded five sacks last season, but as a rotational pass-rusher across from Von Miller, he would likely be productive in Denver's 4-3 defense, at a reasonable price.
2. Defensive End Osi Umenyiora
Another candidate to replace Dumervil is Osi Umenyiora, who McCormick also linked to the team on Saturday evening. Umenyiora is also older than Dumervil (31), but has a pair of Super Bowl rings and 75 career sacks.
At the right price, Umenyiora would add a dynamic element to Denver's defense. Two years ago, the Broncos were among seven teams that tried and failed to trade for Umenyiora's services in 2011, according to a NYDailyNews.com story.
The Broncos apparently are still interested in Umenyiora, and if Dumervil is cut or released, defensive end will quickly become a position of need for the team.
3. Running Back Rashard Mendenhall
Mendenhall "has drawn interest from the Broncos" according to the Denver Post, confirming that the team intends to add another running back to the backfield this offseason. Mendenhall is only 25 and could fit in a Manning-led offense, but Klis reports that the Broncos' level of interest in the RB is "difficult to gauge."
The Broncos have already been linked to Shonn Greene and Steven Jackson this offseason, Mendenhall is likely just one of several backs the team will give a look. With the futures of Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno unknown, look for the team to add at least one RB this spring.
Stay tuned as the free agency signing period unfolds next week.
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